Siddur Ba-eir Hei-teiv --- The Transliterated Siddur

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Learn to sing the service for taking the Torah out of the Ark on Shabbat morning Print E-mail
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All transliterations, commentary, and audio recordings are copyright © 1997, 1998, 2002, 2009, or 2016 by Jordan Lee Wagner. All rights reserved.

When congregations adopt melodies that were originally part of works written for trained musicians, the melodies get simplified and also transformed in other ways. The tunes are transmitted from congregation to congregation in evolving forms, and passed from generation to generation like folk music.

Here are some melodies for taking the Torah from the Ark:

  • Here is a currently popular chant. The first half is based on Solomon Sulzer's Ein Kamocha, but then it switches to an adaptation of Carl Urstein's Ein Kamocha, and finally exits by smoothly leading into an adaptation of A. Duneyevsky's Av HaRachamim.
  • Here is an adaptation of A. Duneyevsky's Av HaRachamim, followed by an adaptation of Solomon Sulzer's Va-y'hi Binsoa HaAron and Ki mi-Tsion. Unless the reader is too high in his range, it is common to begin this Av HaRachamim a fourth higher than the Urstein Ein Kamocha. (I.e., beginning Av HaRachamim on the final pitch of Ein Kamocha rather than dropping down a fourth.)
  • Here is an adaptation of the Bei Ana Ra-cheits tune traditionally credited to Z. Rovner, but with all its artistic repetitions removed, followed by a traditional Shema melody for the Shabbat morning Torah Reading Service. This can lead into any of several tunes for L'cha Hashem (Psalms 99:5 & 99:9). This recording fades out right after segueing into the L'cha Hashem by Gershon Ephros.
  • And here is the Shema again, but with the second half of the traditional melody (i.e., the congregational response) replaced by the second half of Solomon Sulzer's Shema for the Shabbat morning Torah Reading Service. (He wrote other settings of the Shema for other services.) Finally, an alternate ending is tagged onto the end of this recording.
  • Here is a currently popular congregational melody for the Torah Procession (L'cha HaShem). I'll post information about its source when I figure that out. If you know, please post a comment.
  • Here is the L'cha HaShem tune written by Gershon Ephros.

Ein Kamocha (The Beginning of the Torah Reading Section)

There is a simple symmetry to the Torah-Reading sec­tion. The giving of the Torah at Sinai is represented in the liturgical rite by the Read­ing of the Torah followed by the Lifting (acceptance) of the Torah. This is the central event in the ritual, as it is the central transforming event in human history.

The processions of the Israelites from Egypt to Sinai, and from Sinai to Jerusalem, are also represented in the Torah-Reading ritual. They balance each other, one before and one after the Reading/Lifting.

The two halves of Numbers 10:35-36 are recited to link the open­ing and closing of the Ark, near the beginning and end of the Torah-Reading section:
When the Ark set forth, Moses said:
Advance, Lord, let your enemies be scattered!
Let those that hate you flee before you!

And when it rested, he said:
Return, Lord, who are Israel's myriads of thousands!

Items that break this symmetry are later inser­tions and additions.
Torah Reading Section

Open the Ark:
Read Numbers 10:35
Remove Torah
Read Torah
Lift Torah
Return Torah
Read Numbers 10:36
Close the Ark

--- adapted from "The Synagogue Survival Kit" by Jordan Lee Wagner, publ. by Rowman & Littlefield. 1997.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 10:40

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